Date
26 May 2017
Peter Humphrey seen in a file photo as leaves a Chinese court in a police car in August last year. Credit: Reuters
Peter Humphrey seen in a file photo as leaves a Chinese court in a police car in August last year. Credit: Reuters

China frees GSK-linked investigator from prison

A British private investigator who became embroiled in a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) bribery case in China has been released early from prison, reports said.

Peter Humphrey has been freed by Chinese authorities on health grounds seven months before completion of his two-and-a-half-year jail sentence, according to the reports.

Humphrey was convicted last year of purchasing personal information on Chinese citizens, in a high-profile case that sent shock waves through the foreign business community in China.

The 59-year-old is undergoing testing for cancer and was in a Shanghai hospital on Tuesday when authorities notified him of his release, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Under terms of his sentence, Humphrey is to be deported immediately after his release. He has applied for an emergency passport from the British consulate in Shanghai, according to the report.

Humphrey and his wife Yu Yingzeng were sentenced in August last year for illegally obtaining private records of Chinese citizens and selling the information on to clients including British pharmaceutical giant GSK.

GSK is said to have employed the couple to investigate bribery claims at the company and a sex tape featuring the then head of GSK China.

Just as the couple’s investigation was wrapping up in June 2013, Chinese police publicly alleged that Glaxo employees engaged in a pattern of bribery. Days later, police detained Humphrey and Yu.

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